This Military Armored Vehicle Is the Safest Taxi in Russia

Russia’s newest taxi is unlike any other you’ve ever seen – it’s actually an armored reconnaissance vehicle that’s been modified to roam the streets of St. Petersburg just like any other cab. Although it has been painted red, its military design and deactivated turret gun machine can hardly be camouflaged and the vehicle never fails to grab attention every time it passes by.

The BRDM-2 Combat Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle was manufactured in the Soviet Union between 1963 and 1989. Well known for its ability to negotiate any kind of terrain, the BRDM was armed with a 14.5 mm Vladimirov heavy machine gun and a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov’s tank machine gun.

The BRDM’s current owner has long since wanted to use it as a taxi, but city authorities refused to grant a permit at first. After a long licensing campaign, the authorities finally gave in, with certain conditions. They asked that the vehicle’s camouflage pattern be changed to something more civilian. That’s why the owner chose red, in order to differentiate it from the standard yellow taxi color. The BRDM taxi is also prohibited from entering certain streets in the historical center of St. Petersburg, owing to its large size and weight.

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El Rodafonio – The Craziest Musical Contraption Ever Created

The street theatre scene in Barcelona was completely transformed in 2010, with the invention of the Rodafonio – perhaps the weirdest musical contraption in the world. Created by renowned designer and musician César Alvarez Bayer, it consists of a gigantic wheel that’s four meters high and only 15 cm wide, like a huge waffle iron.

The wheel can accommodate a crew of five – the members of the Catalan music band ‘Factoria Circular’. Three musicians sit inside the wheel in their respective metal circles, playing their musical instruments – a guitar, a saxophone, and a set of drums – to various tunes, while occasionally spinning inside the giant wheel. The other two members are actors who pedal the wheel into motion, bringing the huge mechanical device to life.

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Chinese Athlete Has Sights Set on Butt Skipping Record

Butt skipping is like a bizarre cousin of jumping rope – it involves bouncing up and down on your behind while twirling a rope underneath. The relatively lesser-known sport has gained prominence in south east Asia ever since a Japanese athlete took the world title in 2006. Now, Chinese gymnastics expert Yi Zhihua has set his heart on becoming the world champion.

20-year-old Zhihua wants to beat the world record of 166 butt skips in one minute and says he’s nearly accomplished the feat during training. “I’m up to 152 per minute – you have to get through the pain barrier but after that when your butt is numb you can really notch up the numbers,” he explained. “I am pretty certain I will have it cracked within the week and will start the New Year as the world champion.”

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Jack Daniels Names Newborn Son Jim Beam

Giving babies weird names like ‘North West’ and ‘Blue Ivy’ has always been a celebrity thing, but it looks like ordinary people are joining in on the trend as well. The Leathers family from Louisiana for instance, name their kids after alcoholic beverages. Keeping up the tradition is new father ‘Jack Daniels’ Leathers, who has recently named his baby boy ‘Jim Beam’.

Jack, 31, and his wife Lydia, 23, said that they decided early-on in their relationship that they wanted to continue the whiskey-name tradition that Jack’s parents had started. “My parents decided they wanted to name their son something to make their parents mad,” Jack explained. “And, at the time, my dad was drinking Jack, which he enjoyed. My mom said, ‘Why not?’”

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Bizarre Open-Air Urinals Spark Criticism in Australia

After nearly a decade of trying to manage public urination in a busy nightclub strip, Australia’s Gold Coast City Council finally hit upon an idea – temporary outdoor urinals. The loos are primarily aimed at drunken men who tend to relieve themselves in front of businesses and in alleyways. But the ingenious solution has sparked disgust among locals, who find the urinals ugly and offensive.

According to councillor Lex Bell, these urinals are the only way to manage the problem of public urination that has plagued Cavill Mall and Orchid Avenue in Surfer’s Paradise, southeastern Queensland. Authorities simply do not have the manpower to fine all the people who urinate in public in these areas and don’t have the authority to arrest them.

“We cannot arrest such people – we don’t have the power, so the thought was if we put urinals in places where the inebriated people have to stagger past, they may well use them. When people are staggering from nightclubs, they won’t seek out public toilets – even if they are there,” he explained.

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Photo: Twitter
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Scientists Use Calvin Klein Perfume to Attract Jaguars

While camera traps have been used in ecological research for decades, luring animals towards these traps requires constant innovation. And you’ll never believe what they’re now using to attract wild jaguars – Calvin Klein Obsession for Men!

According to Miguel Ordeñana, a biologist with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and an expert on camera traps, the idea belongs to a Bronx Zoo researcher who tried a bunch of different scents before discovering the jaguar’s affinity for Calvin Klein. What’s special about the cologne is that its two main ingredients – civetone and vanilla extract – create a combination that’s irresistible to these big cats.
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The Village of Forgetfulness – Colombian Village Is Home to the World’s Largest Population of Alzheimer’s Sufferers

At the outset, the mountainous region of Antioquia in northwestern Colombia comes across as a breathtaking natural paradise. But its picturesque valleys and winding green hills hide a chilling secret –  an unusually large number of young people here suffer from a hereditary form of Alzheimer’s. Several of Antioquia’s residents are at various stages of the disease – right from early signs of memory loss to total dementia.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s is quite similar to the typical form of the disease – it is caused by toxic proteins that destroy brain cells, leading to memory loss and eventually, death. But there is one major difference – the symptoms begin to occur at a frightfully young age, sometimes even before the victim turns 40. It begins with forgetfulness and slowly progresses to disorientation and delusional ideas.

Afflicted with this form of Alzheimer’s, the people of Antioquia often reach the final stage of the disease in their mid-forties. And there’s only one explanation for the bizarre condition – it’s all in the genes. Generations of inbreeding has resulted in the spread of the defective gene in the region for the past 300 years – throughout a widely branched family that now has over 5,000 members. This makes Antioquia home to the world’s largest population of Alzheimer’s sufferers. They are all believed to have inherited the ‘paisa’ mutation, which is a simple genetic defect on Chromosome 14. The mutation is named after the people living in the area, who are known in Colombia as Paisas.

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Most Romantic Man in China – After a Lifetime of Struggle 80-Year-Old Man Buys Diamond Ring for His Wife

Images of a simple-looking 80-year-old man gifting his elderly wife a diamond ring are making waves on Chinese social networking site Weibo. The photos of the couple dressed in plain clothing and trying on rings were posted by Weibo user ‘This is Xinjiang’ last week, and have already been shared over 1,500 times.

Intrigued, the Xinjiang Internet Office decided to investigate the story. They contacted and interviewed staff at the jewellery shop where the photo was taken. According to staff member Zhou Lanlan, the couple had visited their shop at noon on Wednesday. The man then proceeded to ask for diamond rings that were ‘reasonably priced’.

The salesperson recommended one particular ring that was being sold at a discounted price. After trying it on, the man payed for the ring with a huge roll of small banknotes that are believed to have been his entire life’s savings. He mentioned that he wanted to make his wife happy after a lifetime of struggles. “We’ve been leading a hard life. I just hope to cheer her up,” he told the staff.

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Spanish Bakery Makes $150 Glittering Bread Using Gold Dust

Whole wheat flour, spelt and water are the usual ingredients used to make bread, but add a touch of edible gold and you’ve got wealthy clients from all around the world stepping on each others’ toes trying to secure a loaf of the world’s most expensive bread. Made by Pan Piña bakery in the small Spanish village of Algatocin, the ‘gold leaf bread’ costs an unbelievable $150 per 400-gram loaf.

Pan Piña baker and co-owner Juan Manuel Moreno said that he came up with the idea for the bread after he saw the ‘world’s most expensive coffee’ on sale at another shop in the region. So he decided to dazzle up his own bread with a dash of edible gold worth over $100 both inside and on the surface of each loaf. However, he does agree that the shiny metal does nothing to enhance flavor.

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Chinese Maternity Hospital Lets Expecting Dads Experience Labor Pains

When a recent study revealed that expectant mothers want more empathy from their spouses, the executives at Aima maternity hospital in eastern China came up with a wonderful idea – ‘Pain Experience Camp’. The camp offers fathers-to-be the chance to experience the pain of childbirth by giving them electric shocks through special pads placed on their bellies.  The shocks simulate labor pains by causing muscles to spasm.

The painful service was started in November and over 300 men have signed up for it since then. In fact, the response has been so overwhelming that in addition to free sessions twice a week at the hospital, Aima has opened a pop-up booth at the local Shi Mao shopping mall. Each session lasts about five minutes, during which a nurse gradually raises the intensity of the shocks between a scale of one to ten.

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Artist Melts Glass Rods Together to Create a Loaf of Awesomeness

Californian artist Loren Stump is a master of the ancient Italian glass art of murrine. The age-old technique involves fusing canes of glass together and slicing through them to reveal intricately patterned sections. It’s a lot like slicing through a Swiss cake roll or a loaf of bread to reveal a beautiful cross-section filled with mind-boggling classical imagery such as Da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks.

To create a murrine, Stump works backwards – he starts with a two-dimensional image. He then layers different colors of molten glass around a core, heating and stretching it into a rod. When cooled, the rod can be sliced into the desired thickness, with each slice possessing the same pattern in the cross-section. Murrine was first practiced over 4,000 years ago in the Mideast, and later revived by Venetian glassmakers in the early 16th century.

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Belgian Band Spontaneously Tattoo Themselves during Performances

Attending a Tat2noiseact concert might just be the most bizarre experience of your life. The Belgian rock band is known for performing experimental music while simultaneously inking themselves, creating a freakishly surreal atmosphere that you won’t soon forget.

Their act starts with random screaming by lead singer Phil, while the band performs in the background. Then the members begin tattooing themselves or each other, and the screams get louder and more incomprehensible. As the performance reaches a crescendo, all you get to hear is the buzzing noise of tattoo guns, amplified by the sound systems they are plugged in to. At this point, everyone will seem to be in a sort of trance. There is nothing commercial about this unique performance, and you’ve got to have a taste for the bizarre to be able to relax and enjoy it.

“There is nothing conventional in our practice,” a band member proudly proclaimed. “Everything is spontaneous, accidental, according to our mood. This is the exact opposite of what happens in tattoo parlors. There are no rules, nothing is planned. No one would walk into a parlor and say – you can do anything, even dance.”

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This Guy Has Been Driving Backwards for the Last 11 Years

Indian taxi driver Harpreet Dev is well-known in his hometown of Bhatinda, Punjab, for his amazing reverse driving skills. The 30-year-old has been driving his cab in reverse for the past 11 years. Harpreet is so used to it now that he says he doesn’t trust himself to drive forwards anymore! He even has a special government license that allows him to drive backwards in any state in the northern part of India.

Harpreet’s passion for reverse driving started in 2003, when his faithful Fiat Padmini  got stuck in reverse gear late one night. “I was outside the city, I had no money, so I thought of driving the car backwards until Bhatinda,” he said. “Then I drove backwards and later on I gained confidence.”

That’s when he realised that he was really on to something, so the next morning he painted the words ‘Back Gear Champion’ on the side of the car and redesigned its gearbox to have four reverse gears and only one forward.

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Dutch Architect Turns Fictional Bridges on Euro Bills into a Reality

When Austrian designer Robert Kalina came up with the design for Euro banknotes in 2002, he deliberately created fictional bridges that represent European architecture in general. The bridges can be recognised as having originated in various periods of European history, such as the Roman period, the Gothic period, the Renaissance, and contemporary 20th century architecture. This was supposed to be a good way to keep things generic and not favor any particular member country in the EU.

But with his latest stunt, Dutch architect Robin Stam has turned the idea on its head. “The European Bank didn’t want to use real bridges so I thought it would be funny to claim the bridges and make them real,” he explained. So he went and built all the bridges exactly as seen on the paper money, according to color and scale

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Student Creates Bizarre Jewelry That Hooks into Your Veins and Turns Blood Flow into Electricity

If you think squeezing your feet into an uncomfortable pair of heels is painful, then Israeli jewelry designer Naomi Kizhner’s hardcore jewelry is probably not for you. Her innovative pieces are meant to be inserted into the wearer’s veins, harnessing kinetic power from the body’s involuntary movements to produce electricity.

The collection, named ‘Energy Addicts’, features invasive pieces of gold jewelry that have golden spikes at each end, which are inserted into the wearer’s veins in two places. The continuous flow of blood turns the golden wheel inside the design, eventually creating sufficient kinetic energy to produce electricity that is sufficient to light up an LED and soon maybe even charge mobile devices.

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